As of September 1st, the province implemented a vaccine passport with a fifteen-day grace period, which means that as of the 15th, the passport is in full force. This decision has been met with a lot of backlash and protest from people who are not vaccinated as well as people who are. No matter your vaccine status, the vaccine passport is a good idea that wouldn’t hinder your day-to-day activities if you just got vaccinated, and despite popular belief, the passport does not infringe on your rights.
Even though vaccine rollout has been fast and appointment-free all summer, some people still need the reminder that the vaccine is safe and works. With a rise in new cases, it is a fact that roughly eighty percent of all new cases are people who are not vaccinated. While it is true that vaccinated people can catch covid and can even go to the hospital to be treated for covid, the chances are very slim, and you are more likely to walk out of that situation alive than someone who is not vaccinated. With all that being said, vaccine passports make it so that non vaccinated people cannot spread the virus in highly populated areas where the risk of infection is higher, like in restaurants or gyms. Not to mention that unvaccinated people can spread the virus much quicker than vaccinated people, especially since vaccinated people can come in contact with the virus and not even catch covid.
I feel what non-vaccinated people are missing is that the vaccine passport is, in a way, protecting them, literally. Non-vaccinated people are at risk of dying yet claim that they would rather take their chances with covid since it has a survival rate of over ninety percent, yet what they fail to realize is that so does the vaccine. From what I’ve been told, people are scared of the vaccine because of what is inside of it or because they’re scared of future health risks. Firstly, let’s drop the act that we know what’s inside everything we use because I’m pretty sure no one can tell us every ingredient to their toothpaste. Secondly, let’s also drop the act that there aren’t risks to literally everything we do. Sure, there could be a possibility that the covid vaccine gives us minor health problems even though, right now, there is no evidence to support this claim. You know what there is evidence for, though? Excessive smoking causes lung cancer, and excessive drinking causes liver cancer, but you don’t see people protesting to stop any of that. In all, you’re more likely to get into a car accident on your way to your covid vaccine than to have something happen to you because of the vaccine.
Additionally, I’ve had the most privileged people (also unvaccinated) come up to me and tell me that the passport is an infringement of their rights, so let’s talk about what a right is. Rights are essentially fundamental practices that we owe as citizens, such as the right to freedom of expression and the right to practice religion and so on. Despite said rights, we have rules in society in the name of public health and safety, like how you legally cannot drink if you’re below eighteen years old, and you need to show proof of ID if you would like to purchase alcohol or cigarettes. You can’t smoke on public grounds because of the potential harm to others, including children you may cause. You have a right to say no to the vaccine, and you have a right to protest the passport; that is you, exercising your freedoms. However, if you want to smoke, you can’t do it in a restaurant, the same way you can’t eat if you’re not vaccinated because you are a threat to public safety.
I’m not going to lie when I say the passport is perfect, as a client, you must be vaccinated, yet you don’t know if your server is. However, vaccine passports are not new. For certain professions like nurses, doctors, and teachers, who deal with vulnerable people or those who can’t get vaccinated, there should be vaccine mandates. And for those who disagree, think of your sick, elderly family member who can literally die because the nurse who was tending to them was unvaccinated and caught covid. Please remember that you have a right to exercise your right to say no to the vaccine, but also remember that this can legitimately become a matter of life or death.
By Isabella Del Grosso